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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 1 - The Problem of Union
45. The gross leads into the subtle and the subtle leads in progressive stages to that state of pure spiritual being called Pradhana.

Let the student remember here the following degrees or stages through which he must pass as he penetrates into the heart of the innermost:

  1. The gross - form, bhutas, rational tangible sheaths.
  2. The subtle - the nature or qualities, the tanmatras, the indriyas, or the senses, the sense organs and that which is sensed.

These can be applied to all the planes of the three worlds with which man is concerned, and have a close relation to the pairs of opposites which he has to balance on the emotional plane. Behind all these is found that balanced state, called Pradhana, which is the cause of what is contacted physically and sensed subtly. This balanced state can well be called unresolvable primary substance, matter united with spirit, undifferentiated yet without form or distinguishing mark. Behind these three again is found the Absolute Principle but these three are all that man can know whilst in manifestation. Vivekananda in his commentary says as follows:

"The grosser objects are only the elements and everything manufactured out of them. The five [100] objects begin with Tanmatras or five particles. The organs, the mind (the aggregate of all senses) egoism, the mind stuff (the cause of all manifestation) the equilibrium state of sattva, rajas and tamas (the three qualities of matter. A. B.), - called Pradhana (Chief) Prakriti (nature) or Avyakta (unmanifest) are all included in the category of five objects. The Purusha (the soul) alone is excepted from this definition.)."

Vivekananda apparently here translates purusha as soul, but it is usually translated spirit and refers to the first aspect.

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